How to Camouflage a Tent
Have you bought a tent that doesn’t let you blend in with your surroundings? Or perhaps your tent is perfect in every way, but the bright colour attracts unwanted attention?
Maybe you forgot to buy a camouflage tent, or you’re in a situation where you must mesh in with your surroundings. You’re probably wondering how to camouflage a tent.
Camouflaging a tent is relatively easy, and there are more than a few ways to do it. You can use a fabric with camouflage printing over your tent, or you can colour the material the way you want.
We’ve compiled a few ways you can camouflage your tent and go undetected. Let’s read ahead!
Table of Contents
How to Camouflage a Tent
If you don’t have a camouflage tent, there are some straightforward ways you can achieve a camouflaged tent. You can fabric dye your tent fly, use camouflage netting, or tarps.
You need to camouflage your tent in a way that it doesn’t restrict your tent’s working capacity or show its outline.
Why You need to Camouflage a Tent
There are several reasons why camouflaging your tent may be necessary.
Firstly, hunters prefer to camouflage their hideouts. When it comes to hunting and tracking preys, you don’t want to give away your position under any circumstances.
Secondly, some frequent campers prefer to keep a low profile and don’t want to be bothered by passers-by. They want to camp in peace and not be disturbed.
Furthermore, if you happen to go stealth camping, there is no alternative to camouflaging your tent. Stealth camping means camping in an undetected way.
Besides, some survivalists prefer to keep a low profile and mesh in with their surroundings for a better camping experience.
Sometimes camouflaging your tent isn’t a choice but rather a necessity. When you camp in a place with massive wildlife, you need to blend in. Otherwise wild animals such as bears, coyotes, moose, etc. will find your tent.
Perhaps you’re trying to hide or don’t want to be identified—situations like these call for you to know how to camouflage a tent.
The ways you can Camouflage a Tent
There are different options on how to camouflage a tent. Some options such as using camo netting or camo tarps require pre-planning as you need to buy them before use.
Fabric dyeing your tent needs time and planning as well. If you ever run into an emergency that compels you to camouflage your tent, you can always use the items from your camping surroundings to blend in.
Read the below-given guide to camouflage your tent:
Fabric Dye If you ever ask an experienced camper “how to camouflage a tent“, using a fabric dyeing will be one of the suggestions. It would be best if you remembered that fabric dyeing every tent is not a possibility.
There are water-resistant, durable tents whose coating will stop any paint from sticking into the actual material. You can paint the exterior, but the colour will not touch the material composition.
The directions to camouflaging your tent using fabric dyes are given as follows:
Step 1: Purchase non-waterproof untreated thin fabric or use a water-resistant tent fly. The material you use must be water-resistant.
Step 2: To find out if your chosen fabric is waterproof or not, run some water over it. If it soaks, you can use it for dyeing.
Step 3: Different materials have different techniques and rules for fabric dyeing. If you have found the right untreated water-resistant fabric, you can start the process of tie-dying.
Step 4: Choose the dye colour that matches your camping surroundings. For forest camouflage, use green and brown shades. For desert camping, use tan or beige colours.
Step 5: After dyeing your fabric, put on a durable water repellent coating on top.
Which Dye for which Material:
Nylon: This fabric needs to be dyed with acid dye which requires heat and steam. Apply the paint to the material and steam the cloth the way vegetables are steamed. Let it dry.
Silk: It is easy to colour, and you can use even the ordinary tie-dying products for it.
Polyester: This fabric is quite difficult to dye as it can be dyed only with disperse dyes.
Alternative: If you have good quality fabric paint which is thin in texture, you can use it on untreated polyester and nylon materials.
Avoid: Any materials that can’t be dyed such as polyester and spandex mix also known as polypropylene.
1. Camo Netting
Camo netting is an excellent option for tent camouflage. Remember that your camo net pattern must match with your camping ground surrounding since that it the point of the whole ruse.
Camo netting won’t make your tent disappear entirely because if anyone comes close to the tent, they will understand that there is something present there.
Below are the steps to camouflage your tent using camo netting:
Step 1: You need camping clips to set the net. You can use any size, but bigger ones with green colour are better. It would help if you had a couple of pieces for this task.
Step 2: If your tent is small, put the netting over your tent and secure it with the clips.
Step 3: If you have a big tent, you can’t drape it over as it will show the tent outline. You can try to connect it with poles to lift it from the tent and create a different shape.
However, some campers are not fond of this style. They believe using a net to camouflage shows that there is something to hide, and it is an unnecessary giveaway.
2. Camo Tarp
A great and effective way to camouflage your tent is to use a camo tarp or rain fly.
Heavy-duty tarps are also useful for heavy wind and rainfall protection. It will also warm up the tent more than usual which is a plus point during cold nights.
Learn how to camouflage your tent by using a camo tarp:
Step 1: You can use tent poles or separate tarp poles for framing the tarp.
Step 2: Your main focus is to not to drape the tarp over your tent as the tent outline will give your location away.
Step 3: You can attach the tarp to the poles using the tarp cords.
Step 4: If you are traveling to a place with heavy wind or need extra protection to make sure the tarp won’t fly off, use bungee cords for attachments.
3. Natural Surrounding
Now if you run into a situation while camping that requires you to create an impromptu camouflage, blending into your natural surroundings is an excellent way to hide your tent.
It is a useful method if you’re out in the woods or anywhere with trees and bushes. You need to wait until dusk or evening time for this method.
If you’re out in the desert, it might not be as effective. Let’s read how to use nearby surroundings to camouflage your tent:
Step 1: Cut bushes and branches of trees around your tent.
Step 2: Gather enough foliage and surround your tent with it. It would be best if you put the bushes in a way that they can hide the outline of the tent.
Things to Avoid
While you may come up with some innovative ideas on how to camouflage your tent, some steps may seem like a good idea at first, but in reality, they don’t work.
One of the common misconceptions is that you can spray paint your tent to camouflage it. Spray paint that is applied directly to the tent fabric will cut off the breathability aspect of the tent.
If you spray paint a tent that was not breathable enough, to begin with, you will face a massive problem of bad air circulation while camping. It will cause nausea, as well.
Most tents are made of nylon and have a water-resistant coating. When you spray paint the cover of your tent, you will restrict the waterproof activity of the tent.
Moreover, most standard tents these days are fireproof as well. Some states require the tents to be fireproof for camping.
If you add paint to your nylon tent, it will not be fire resistant anymore. If you come across a situation where you need a fire-resistant tent, your tent is more likely to catch fire quicker.
Water-based dyes are your best options if you want to colour your tent. Even using a solvent or alcohol-based dye can hinder the urethane coating of the tent and make it more flammable.
I hope these suggestions have helped you to know how to camouflage a tent. You can use one or several of the techniques mentioned above to blend into your camping surroundings.
Don’t try to spray paint but rather use fabric dyes. You can also opt for camping tarps or netting. You can even mesh in with your environment by cutting up branches and bushes.
Camouflaging a tent requires extra attention to details as just putting a camp printed fabric over your tent won’t do the job. You need to be careful and assess the camouflage at every step of the task.